I was sitting at a restaurant with my friend, telling her about my latest idea: setting up a business or structure that would allow non profits and charities to use a pool of corporate employees to help them with their projects. Not a new idea, but, at the time, a non existing one in Luxembourg. I had done some research, gotten the facts, written a first draft of the idea. I got all excited and so did she. ‘You should do it.’ she said. ‘???’ ‘Yes, you should really do this! It’s a great idea, you have the research to show it will work. You should go for it!’ I was stunned. I had worked on the idea for such a long time that actually launching it hadn’t come to my mind yet. ‘Well, there is just no way I can do this with my current job.’ I said. ‘And quitting to go do this is just out of the question at the moment. I can’t take that risk.’ My friend nodded and the excitement died down that same minute. We finished our lunch and went back to our jobs.
That night, I replayed the conversation in my head over and over again. And I realized that the excuses I gave my friend were just that: excuses. They allowed me to remain in my comfort zone, to stay in the idea phase instead of reaching out, taking a risk, doing something really scary and actually trying to make my idea work.
I didn’t sleep well that night. But the next day I was full of energy because I had set myself a goal: looking for ways to make my idea work. No matter what.
It took a lot of time, a lot of hard work, but I did it. I started a project at work where I organized team-building days for our employees to reach out to the non profit sector. Gardens were tended, fields were cleaned, walls were painted, disabled people were taken for a stroll. Why couldn’t what worked at my company, work at other companies too? I created my non profit, Create and Connect to do just that. The initial idea for Create and Connect was to create opportunities for companies to do good and for non profits to find the help they so badly needed. I spent 2 years promoting the idea and trying to get it off the ground.
And it didn’t work…
But that’s not the point!…
Because even though my initial idea ‘failed’ it gave way to a whole other world for me of coaching and creativity and painting and so much more!
The point is, that I did not let my excuses get in the way of my dream. And even if my dream has changed and was adapted, it is still my dream! It was important enough for me to do it, and do it imperfectly, to fail, get up and change it so that it did not fail.
I often hear excuses such as:
- I don’t have time
- I can’t quit my job to do this
- I don’t have the money
- Maybe later
- I will do this when my kids are out of school, when my husband has his new job, when…
We are very good at finding reasons NOT to do something. We are very good at procrastinating: I’m not saying I can’t do it, I’m just not doing it right now.
Right, and tomorrow you may be dead and you never did it!
What excuses have you been telling yourself? They may be about your biggest dream. But often enough the excuses start with the little things you are not doing.
And there is only ONE BIG FAT REASON for your excuses!
And that is FEAR!
- fear of failure
- fear of looking stupid
- fear of standing up for your dream
- fear of claiming something that you need
- guilt (which is a form of fear)
- yes, even fear of success! (oh my God, what if this would really fly!???)
And fear is just your ego telling to stay in your comfort zone where you feel mighty powerful and in control.
If you want to grow through and make your dreams come true, small as they may be, you need to stop making excuses.
Answer this question for me:
Do you want to be comfortable or do you want to make magic happen?
Now go make some magic happen!
Ask yourself: what is the very next step – and then go do that!